20 Strategic Partnership Evaluation Questions

20 Strategic Partnership Evaluation Questions

Your business often embarks on strategic partnership journeys that promise mutual growth and opportunity. But not every partnership will be the transformative powerhouse you envision.

How do you sift through the myriad of choices to find the golden opportunities that align perfectly with your brand’s values and goals?

The journey begins with asking the right questions. Here’s a comprehensive list of 20 strategic partnership evaluation questions to guide you in making informed and lucrative connections.

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Know Before You Grow Together

Entering a strategic partnership can feel akin to starting a new relationship. It’s exciting and full of potential, with the future brimming with opportunity. It may also be fraught with uncertainty, and that’s where evaluation becomes your compass.


Partnerships are more than legal contracts; they’re a melding of visions, goals, and often cultures. This is where strategic evaluation plays a vital role. As you take this collaborative leap, ensure you’ve laid the groundwork with these key questions.

Strategic Partnership examples

1. Technology Collaboration:

An example of this partnership is the collaboration between Spotify and Uber. Users can stream music during their rides, enhancing the overall customer experience for both services.

2. Co-Marketing Agreements:

Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have a long-standing co-marketing agreement where Coca-Cola products are the exclusive beverage offerings at McDonald’s restaurants. This partnership benefits both companies through increased brand visibility and sales.

3. Joint Product Development:

Adobe and Microsoft collaborated to integrate Adobe’s creative software with Microsoft’s cloud services, enabling seamless data sharing and improved productivity for their mutual customers.



4. Distribution Partnerships:

Amazon and Whole Foods entered into a distribution partnership where selected Whole Foods products are available for purchase on Amazon’s platform. This partnership expands Whole Foods’ customer reach and provides Amazon with high-quality grocery offerings.

5. Research and Development Alliances:

Pharmaceutical companies often form research partnerships to jointly develop new drugs or treatments. For instance, Merck and Pfizer collaborated to develop and market a drug for cardiovascular diseases, sharing resources and expertise for mutual benefit.

­Strategic Partnership Evaluation Questions

­Question 1: What is Your Strategic Objective?

Defining why you’re seeking a partnership is crucial. Are you looking to expand your market, acquire new technology, or enhance your brand’s image? Having a clear strategic objective will help you to filter opportunities and stay focused on what truly matters to your business.

Question 2: Are Our Goals Aligned?

Ensure that the potential partner’s goals align not just with your strategic objectives, but also with your overall business ethos. The partnership should feel like a natural extension of your company, serving both parties.

Question 3: Can We Articulate the Value Proposition?

Articulating the value proposition is not just about what the partnership can do for each company but also how it benefits customers and clients. A solid, shared value proposition is a sure sign of a harmonious partnership.

Question 4: Do We Understand Each Other’s Organizational Culture?

Cultural fit is often overlooked but is an essential component of any successful partnership. By understanding and agreeing on cultural norms and expectations, you’re better positioned to navigate the relationship’s dynamics.

Question 5: What Are Our Partnership Roles and Responsibilities?

Chalking out clear roles and responsibilities from the onset is necessary to avoid any misunderstandings down the line. This question is imperative to ensure a smooth working process within the partnership.

Question 6: What Is Our Communication Strategy?

Communication is key to any partnership. Discuss and agree upon a communication strategy that ensures transparency and the seamless exchange of plans, progress, and adjustments.

Question 7: How Will Success Be Measured?

Defining and agreeing on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential. It’s how both partners will understand if the collaboration is bearing fruit or if there are adjustments that need to be made.

Question 8: What Are the Potential Challenges?

Considering the potential pitfalls is a preemptive strike against failure. Evaluate where potential challenges may arise, and ask how your partnership can be designed or managed to mitigate these risks.

Question 9: Can We Digest Our Potential Partner’s Financial Health?

Partnerships require investments, sometimes significant ones. It’s important to understand your partner’s financial health to ensure that they can uphold their end of the bargain and that your investment is secure.

Question 10: What Are Our Legal and Contractual Implications?

Legalities can be complex, but they’re non-negotiable. Be clear on what contractual obligations will look like and under what terms the partnership can be dissolved if necessary.

Question 11: Have We Explored All Insights and Data?

A data-driven approach is invaluable. Mining insights about potential partners can reveal crucial information and potential red flags before you commit.



Question 12: Can We Enhance Each Other’s Networks?

Partnerships should expand your reach. Consider who you have access to through the prospective partner and what kind of market augmentation they can offer.

Question 13: How Will Intellectual Property Be Managed?

Protecting intellectual property is paramount. Discuss ownership of any creations within the partnership and ensure that both parties’ IP rights are respected.

Question 14: What Is the Exit Strategy?

Not every partnership is forever. It’s essential to agree on an exit strategy that leaves both parties intact and minimizes risk if the partnership doesn’t materialize as expected.

Question 15: Have We Accounted for Resource Distribution?

Partnerships require resources – from time to money to staff. Ensuring that there’s a fair distribution of resources will prevent any feelings of being overcommitted or underutilized.

Question 16: How Do We Navigate Partnership Conflicts?

Conflict is almost inevitable. Understanding how both sides will navigate and resolve disputes can strengthen the partnership and foster trust in decision-making processes.

Question 17: Are We Committed to Innovation and Growth?

Partnerships should be fertile ground for new ideas and growth. Invest time in collectively planning for the future, ensuring that your collaboration remains innovative and competitive.

Question 18: Can We Anticipate Future Market Trends?

Staying ahead means being able to anticipate market shifts. Collaborating to understand and prepare for future trends will keep the partnership agile and successful.

Question 19: What Impact Will This Have on Stakeholders?

The partnership isn’t just between two entities. Evaluate how it will impact your customers, employees, and the greater community. Ensure the overall impact is positive and aligns with your brand’s reputation.

Question 20: How Do We Create a Win-Win-Win Partnership?

A win for you, a win for your partner, and a win for the consumer makes a perfect trifecta. Strive for creating not just value, but meaningful, multi-faceted success within your partnerships.


Each question represents a step in the journey towards forging a strategic partnership.

By taking the time to seriously evaluate these connections, you embark on a path that isn’t just about growth but about building a legacy of smart, sustainable partnerships.

So, as you venture forth, remember that in business, as in life, asking the right questions often leads to finding the right answers.

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